70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales
We have often chanced upon this statistic but miss its implications. Namely that to make the all-important sales conversion, we have to shift our focus from the 30% to 70% of our customer’s journey. But how do we fathom the unknown - the customer’s mind? We understand it, connect with it and then journey with it to see how our product/service can best please the customer. And we prioritize it above all else in our sales and marketing process. Or as Amazon puts it, we always reserve a chair for the most important person in every business conversation. Check out the latest report State of Inbound 2017.
The secret of good UX is out of the bag. Personas - detailed personalized embodiments of your customers - are a fantastic way to understand the customer’s mind. Mix Google analytics, SEO data, market segmentation research and demographic trends with stakeholder inputs and business goals to arrive upon detailed sketches about your customer. The personas are critical to putting a face, mind, and opinion to the customer. Furthermore, personas help to fine-tune your content, sales, marketing and social media strategy to be aligned to both the customer and business.
The digital age has disrupted the Marketing and Sales Lifecycle with the non-linearity of many touchpoints. Retrofitting the customer in a linear Sales Lifecycle may look pretty on paper, but it is not going to drive conversions. To make that connect you have to journey with the customer.
Customer journeys are a walk in your customer’s shoes as they interact with with your organization (channels, departments, touchpoints, products, etc.) while trying to solve a problem. The customer journey has to be granular enough to map every step a customer will take across every touch point (social media, customer support, etc.) as they attempt to fulfil their need. Customer journeys can be eye-openers - highlighting the good, bad and ugly. A detailed customer journey map will help your business assess current and proposed processes, resolve pain points, and leverage opportunities for building a better relationship with your customer.
Personas and Journeys will not only contribute to improved customer experience and increased business in the short-term, but more importantly it will infuse a business culture centred around the customer.
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